Acceptance Archive

31

A Friend Indeed

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“Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone”
– Maya Angelou

Lately, I have been feeling down. Unfortunately this is nothing new. Two to three times a year I go into a “funk”. Not sure what it is but I really hate when it happens.

I mentioned this to my MS support group and after hearing about my troubles, a fellow MS group member, invited me to hangout with her for the weekend.

Sue, who has become a good friend and confidant, recommended we attend the New Orleans Oyster Festival. I agreed and we set a time and chose Sunday as the date.

Once the big day came, I was so excited. As soon as I woke up I began getting ready. As I was putting on my clothes, I could hear the patter of rain on my bedroom window. I looked outside and sure enough it was raining. I felt like crying. Then the phone rang. It was Sue. I just knew she was going to cancel. I answered the phone with a melancholy hello. She ecstatically answered back, “You ready?”

I said, “Sue, it’s raining.”

She replied, “If MS can’t stop us, how we gonna let a little rain stop us? Girl, put on a hat and let’s go!”

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So we met on the Riverwalk in the rain. We were able to find some shelter and settled in to eat our charbroiled oysters and shrimp po’boys. The sun even peaked out and gave us a thirty-minute reprise so we could see the bands play music and watch an oyster-eating contest.

On the way home, I just felt so happy. Yes, my issues were still present but for a little while I was able to escape the worry and tension that always accompany my problems.

It’s funny how friends and family can come through just when you think no one cares. Yes, a friend in need, is a friend indeed.

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33

One Day At A Time

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“Depression is the inability to construct a future.” – Rollo May

Last month was a rough one for me. Physically, I was about the same. Emotionally, I was a wreck.

I was basically doing all the things I should not do. That includes, constantly thinking of activities I can no longer participate in. The more I thought, the more I cried. At first it was behind my husband’s back. Then it was right in front of him. I couldn’t control my emotions. I couldn’t hide the anguish any longer. I began to believe that MS was taking over my life. The pain was ringing in my head non-stop.

I consider this a personal low. I’m not proud of my behavior. I should have known something was up when I lost interest in the pastimes that keep me going and motivated.

But finally, I took a real look at myself. I focused on what was happening to me and I saw a depressed person.

How could I miss this? It’s simple Psych 101.

Thankfully, my husband suggested I visit my psychiatrists. So the next day I did. He increased one of my medications, but I still have some personal work to do.

The social worker I see, suggested I find something to keep me busy. I remembered that I already have that here with you guys. So I’ve come full circle, running with open arms, back to my online family. I’m right back where I started, but now I’m healthier and happier.

And I’m taking it, one day at a time.

12

Surrender To Reality

White Flag

“People do not like to think. 
If one thinks, one must reach conclusions.
 Conclusions are not always pleasant.” 
- Helen Keller

Just like everyone else, my life is a habitual attempt to achieve goals. Reaching, with our arms out in front of us, trying to grasp our greatest moments that we believe have yet to come. It’s a grand pursuit that we all have in common. But in that constant chase, the difference between most people and me is the fear that my highest achievements in life are behind me. I worry that my best days are now only realized through reminiscing.

Once MS took over my body, I re-entered the world as a different person. I have a pain that no one sees, my confidence is tested everyday and I have to accept that I can’t do all the things I use to do. The hardest part is learning to live in my new normals. I need to not fight it so much; instead I have to learn to accomplish things within my limitations. I need to surrender to reality. Once I do that, then I’ll be able to face the truth and concentrate on legitimate existing solutions and answers in my pursuit of happiness.

I must remember that I don’t possess my future. No one does. My new goal is to focus on what’s happening at this instant. Living in the moment.

Reminiscing can be fun but when you play the past over and over in your head, it becomes impossible to focus on happily living in the now.

26

A Crabby Night

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“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last weekend was our 11th wedding anniversary as well as my 39th birthday. One big ball of milestones headed directly towards me. The end of an era. My 30s to be exact while also the celebration of a wonderful partnership with my husband.

The plan was to head downtown. Stay overnight at a hotel and get something to eat. Everything was going great and then came dinner.

Have you ever eaten snow crabs?

Have you seen them before?

Well I have, but sometimes I have selective memory. I forgot how hard it is to eat them. First off, I could not crack the crab. So instead, I pulled each leg off causing juice to fly all over me. Keep in mind that I have problems with fine motor skills. It’s hard for me to button my shirts and hold things. But for some reason I thought I could conquer these crabs.

After I failed at my attempt to eat the crabs, I saw that my table was a mess and I was covered from head to toe with crabmeat. But I was still determined to have a nice dinner. Thank goodness we were at a buffet, so I did have other choices of food. To help out our waitress, I cleaned my immediate surroundings then I politely picked up another plate and started over with a different entrée. So the dinner was not a total loss.

FYI, I did leave a nice tip.

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13

Alive And Well

4.1.1

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I visit my occupational therapist (OT) weekly. She’s there to help me develop skills that will enable me to work or simply complete my activities of daily living, such as dressing and grooming. At this point we have become moderately acquainted with each other. I am a fairly outgoing person, when in the mood, and this is the part of me that she sees the most. We were talking the other day and I mentioned that I cry quite a lot.

“What!” She exclaimed. She seemed astounded.

It was nice to hear that she had a completely different perspective of me, one that seems to be closer to the original Nicole.

I like people to know that I do have a life outside of MS. I started this blog in order to highlight and find out whom that person was. It seems like somehow along the way I’ve steered off-road. I’m embarrassed to admit how much time I spend dwelling on things I can no longer do. Or how often I still cry alone.

But apparently, according to my OT, not enough to tear apart my intact personality. So my new goal is to keep that part of me alive and well.

17

Do Nothing

I got a canibus lollipop.

“It’s bad to not do anything for 8 hours but it is sad to not be able to do anything for 8 hours.”

Someone once told me, “Hunger hurts but starving is worse”. So I try everyday to “feed my mind” with some type of activity. I do this because I realize a little activity is better than no activity.

Losing my ability to reflect and imagine is my biggest fear, so keeping my mind active is a top priority for me.

One of my faults is that I probably spend too much time inside the house. I’m also too depended on my husband to find me things to do. So to counteract this, I am always searching for new intellectual pursuits. Sometimes it’s substantial, like writing a 500-word post or speaking at an event. But most times it’s small things like sitting outside watching people walk by. With me, fatigue plays a huge factor so for that particular day; people watching may be all I’m able to do.

I use to be such an active person, so I had to convince myself that physical exercise isn’t the only way to obtain mental simulation. At one point in my life, I would see people sitting around and think they were lazy. Now I know, just because someone appears to be doing nothing doesn’t mean they are actually doing nothing. For me, I use that time to reflect and clear my mind, which lets me sort out future moves. I’m able to find the right paths and create new opportunities for potential endeavors. I call it, actively doing nothing.

So if you ever find yourself being bored or to tired for physical activity, take my advice and do nothing. Because sometimes doing nothing can bring you more to do.

20

Cry Baby

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The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. ~John Vance Cheney

The last couple of days have been painstakingly rough. Even though I had my depression medicine changed, I still find myself crying all the time. Which is embarrassing. I hate crying in front of my husband.

The funny thing is, nothing has really changed. I haven’t lost any new functionality. But still the crying remains.

One time between sobs, I tried desperately to explain to my husband what was wrong but I had no answers. It’s not only frustrating for me but for him too. This worries me because I believe there’s only so much of this he is going to take. (Probably not true but that’s how I think sometimes.)

Shortly after I tried to explain how I felt, I excused myself to the ladies room. Minutes later, I reemerged with the answer.

My cycle was on!

I was so excited because I realized I wasn’t crazy, just emotional due to hormones. Sometimes I forget that I am an ovulating 39-year-old woman. And yes, it is typical for me to have such a sporadic emotional ride. The doctor has even offered to give me medication for it. Maybe I should take her up on the offer.

Problem solved, until a week later and I had yet another crying spell.

Oh no!

I guess crying comes with the (MS) territory.